WITCH OF TAHQUITZ: Facts and Legends of the Village of Palm Springs

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Facts and Legends of the Village of Palm Springs. This a loop trail along the creek in the bottom of the canyon, and the waterfall flows into a pool of water at the halfway point during winter and spring. The waterfall tends to dry up to a trickle in the summer and fall. The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians closed the canyon to the public in after a rowdy crowd left a rock concert and descended into Tahquitz Canyon for days of partying.

Most of the hikers and skinny-dippers enjoyed the picturesque falls and respected the serene scene, but vandals dumped garbage on the canyon floor and spray-painted graffiti on the boulders. Finally fed up with the disrespect of the canyon, the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians closed the trails in and they remained closed to outside visitors for the next 30 years.

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On the ranger-led walk, you will learn a lot about the Native Americans who settled here thousands of years ago, how they lived, what they ate, and some of their legends and lore. You will see where Native Americans made rock art, ground food and medicine, and lived. You will also learn a lot of interesting things about the canyon geology and plants along the way.

The hike takes about 1. There are plenty of places to stop, rest, and take in all of the beautiful views!

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Before you start, look for the walking sticks people leave near the beginning of the walk. I used mine since there are lots of steps natural stairs up and down on this walk. Since you travel up and back along a creek, the sound of running water was a wonderful accompaniment on this canyon walk.

The canyon itself is several degrees cooler than Palm Springs and the water is amazingly refreshing. But if you go in summer, it gets over 90 degrees, so bring sun screen and a big bottle of water. There are hummingbirds galore so bird watchers will love it. There are lots of lizards, too, rattlesnakes, and sometimes mountain goats.

Be sure to check out the points of interest along the way in and out of the canyon. You dip in and out of lovely vistas as you climb a mild incline up to a small waterfall. In spring there are lots of wildflowers in bloom, but keep an eye out for rattlesnakes. The Cahuilla built a visitor center with educational and cultural exhibits and, after a three-year cleanup, reopened the canyon about a year ago.

Tribal rangers lead daily hikes through the storied canyon, which is two miles as the phainopepla flies southwest of downtown. You also get a discount if you show the brochure from Indian Canyon. The canyon is full of native plants, including brittle bush, creosote, cholla, hedgehog cactus, ephedra also called Mormon tea and desert lavender. Tour leaders detail the many ways the Cahuilla used the plants for food and medicine. Smog sometimes obscures the view down-canyon, but up-canyon vistas are glorious.

From Tahquitz Peak, a subsidiary summit of Mt. San Jacinto, a lively creek tumbles through an impressive gash in the towering rock walls. The visitor center opens at 7: I recommend starting early and arriving in time to watch the rising sun probe the dark recesses of Tahquitz Canyon.

If you take the 8 a. At just two miles long, the hike is family friendly. One alternative is a self-guided hike through one of the other Indian Canyons, nearby Palm Canyon, where you can see a huge collection of California fan palms. Tours depart from the Tahquitz Canyon Visitor Center at 8 a.

Witch of Tahquitz in Tahquitz Canyon in Palm Springs, CA

So Riley's posse takes off to catch the witch with half a dozen white settlers, an ancient Indian Medicine man Pedro Chino and a young Indian boy named Jesus. Along the way, Pedro tells the boy of even earlier events of the tribe and their interaction with the Witch. Her name is Mena and she was not always bad.

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Hundreds of years ago she had been brought forth by Spanish explorers in their quest for gold. She had called upon the gods for a chance to escape and a husband who would protect.

Facts and Legends of the Village of Palm Springs: Witch of Tahquitz

The Mountain god answered, destroying the Spanish longboats searching as far north as a primordial Salton Sea in a hail of lightning. She swam ashore and slowly walked towards the tall mountain peak she could see ion the distance and when she saw the canyon and the Medicine Man Tahquitz who lived there, she knew she had found home. For a long time she and her man helped the Cahuilla.

But over time, there medicine turned bitter and their most famous spell of sucking the bad out of people began to draw the entire soul of their patients and in doing so prolonged their lives. Eventually, Mena tricked and killed Tahquitz, who continues to lie as an eternal spirit of the Cahuilla. The posse finally reaches her camp site and kills her, though not without damage to their own group. One member, Big John, is left behind to watch the embers of the Witch burn, for this is the only true way to know she is dead.

But before she is turned to ash he is chased away by coyotes and other animals. Meeks has authored several works.

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His latest book Witch of Tahquitz was written in the same sort of weird tales style that originally began Ray Bradbury's career. Some of his other works include: Meeks is also a second generation rare book dealer, who these days, collects more Science Fiction than he sells. The Palm Springs area is home.